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School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences - The University of Texas at Dallas

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School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Laboratory of Jonathan E. Ploski, PhD

Jonathan E. PloskiAssistant Professor


School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences;

Department of Molecular & Cell Biology

The University of Texas at Dallas








PhD in Biomedical Science from Mount Sinai School of Medicine


Mentor: Aurelian Radu, PhD


Postdoctoral training  

Yale Medical School, Department of Psychiatry


Mentor: Ronald S. Duman, PhD

Yale University, Department of Psychology 9/2006-5/2010

Mentor: Glenn E. Schafe, PhD


Research Interests


My research interests are directed toward elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuronal plasticity that govern emotional memory as well as identifying the causes and consequences of aberrant forms of plasticity that occur in psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety.  Collectively my research utilizes a myriad of molecular, biochemical and behavioral approaches.


Some of the ongoing projects in my laboratory are:


  • Identification of transcripts that localize to dendrites following synaptic activity
  • Investigating emotional learning & memory aberrations within an environmentally induced animal model of autism at the behavioral and molecular levels
  • Determining the Adeno-Associated Viral (AAV) serotypes that are optimal for transducing excitatory and inhibitory neurons within amygdala nuclei critical for emotional learning & memory
  • Identifying the molecular mechanisms that promote/inhibit memory stabilization/destabilization following memory retrieval


Specialties: Pavlovian fear conditioning, memory consolidation and reconsolidation, AAV and Lenti virus production for in vivo delivery of recombinant transgenes, Gene expression analysis, Gene identification 


Amygdala Neurons

Amygdala neurons within the rat brain are infected with Adeno-Associated Virus expressing Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) and a Silencing RNA (siRNA) to suppress the expression of a specific neuronal gene. (a-b).  Localization of GFP-expressing cells from two different rostro-caudal levels.  Note the significant amount of infection in lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) and the basal nucleus of the amygdala (B).  The central nucleus of the amygdala (CE) and surrounding cortical regions are not transfected. The cannula track is depicted by arrows. (c) Higher level (20X) magnification of transfected cells from panel B. (d).  Brightfield image of the same section depicted in panel B, showing the location of the cannula track (arrows).

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